The guide is filled with delicacies and flavors – home-style cooking that’s good for the soul.


From Kashiefa Ajam 4h ago

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Fatima Sydow is known as the Cape Malay cook queen. She is back in Fatima Sydow Cooks to share simple, accessible recipes, her best food memories and some surprises.

The book is full of delicacies and flavors – home-style cooking that is good for the soul. Think clam curry and freshly baked bread to the creamy sauce, slow braised short ribs that fall off the bone, a real masala steak sandwich, and an oxtail that’s so hearty you come back for seconds and thirds.

With over 90 recipes, Fatima Sydow Cooks has you covered; From sauces, baked goods, light meals, curries and hearty stews to pudding and something for the cookie jar. A book for everyone, with a bit of the magic of Fatima and a few twists and turns on some classics. Who else would make a cake out of a lamington, a curry cake out of a roti or a strawberry treat out of a crispy peppermint cake?

About the author:

Author Fatima Sydow. Picture supplied.

Fatima is a cook and former caterer. She loves people and uses her kitchen to bring them together. Sydow’s Facebook page, where she shares her recipes, has earned her a huge following worldwide. She and her twin sister Gadija have their own cooking show in Via DSTV 147 called Kaap, kerrie & koesisters.

Here are three recipes from the book

Lemon Pepper Calamari



1 cup (250 ml) cake flour

125 ml (½ cup) cornmeal

30 ml lemon peel, salt and pepper to taste

500 g calamari rings

2 eggs, beaten

250 ml (1 cup) panko crumbs, oil, for frying

Lemon wedges for serving

When I was growing up, calamari was a treat that we only had once or twice a year. It wasn’t a familiar ingredient and I didn’t learn to cook with it until I was in my twenties. The first time I tried, I fried it too long – but we learn the most from our mistakes! These days I especially love making this dish for lunch or dinner in the garden. A splash of lemon provides just the right balance for the tender calamari.


1. In a bowl, mix the flour, corn flour, lemon peel, and salt and pepper. Brush half of the calamari rings with the flour mixture. Shake off excess flour. Dip the calamari with eggs in the bowl and then in the bowl with the panko crumbs.

2. Heat the oil in a pan almost hot. Fry the calamari for only 1 minute. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel. Repeat with the other half of the calamari.

3. Serve with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.

Creamy prawn noodles Alfredo



250 g of pasta

45 ml (3 tablespoons) butter

45 ml (3 tbsp) oil

500 g prawns, peeled and deveined

5 ml (1 teaspoon) paprika

2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) shredded dried chillies

Salt and pepper to taste


45 ml (3 tablespoons) butter

45 ml (3 tbsp) onions, finely chopped

2–3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

15 ml (1 tbsp) green chillies, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

125 ml (½ cup) water

500 ml (2 cups) fresh cream

125 ml (½ cup) parmesan cheese, grated

fresh basil, chopped, for garnish

Pasta has always been a family favorite in our home and finds its way into all kinds of different dishes. But my love and appreciation for it grew even more when I visited Europe in 1996 and 1997. I learned so much while there, including how to make the creamy Italian classic, Pasta Alfredo.


1. Cook the pasta in salted water according to the instructions in the package. Put aside.

2. Melt the butter with the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the prawns, paprika, chilli, and salt and pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove the prawns from the pan and set aside.

3. For the sauce: Mix the butter, onions, garlic, chilli, salt and pepper in the same pan. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes.

4. Add the water and cook for another 5 minutes or until the onions are cooked through.

5. Lower the heat and stir in the fresh cream and parmesan.

6. Next add the pasta and shrimp. Remove from heat and stir the pasta a few times to coat with the sauce. Garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately.

Baked Bananas



1 egg

250 ml (1 cup) milk

15 ml (1 tbsp) butter, melted

15 ml (1 tbsp) sugar

10 ml (2 teaspoons) vanilla essence

2 medium-sized bananas, chopped

1 cup (250 ml) cake flour

5 ml (1 teaspoon) baking powder, a pinch of salt, oil for frying

Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

In Cape Town there is an exchange of Ramadan goodies every night before the break. One evening when I brought some cakes to our neighbor, Aunt Fatima Bobbs, she took me into her beautiful kitchen and in return filled my plate with golden, light and dreamy pieces of banana. When I do it these days, I always think of Aunt Fatima. I hope mine are perfect, as are hers.


1. Mix the essence of egg, milk, butter, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Add half of the banana and use a whisk to mash the pieces into the batter.

2. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well with a spatula. Add the remaining pieces of banana and stir until covered with batter.

3. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Carefully pour a spoonful of the mixture into the hot oil and fry until brown. Turn the donuts over and continue to brown. Remove the donuts from the oil and drain them on a paper towel.

4. Sprinkle over cinnamon sugar and serve warm.

* Fatima Sydow Cooks is published by Human & Rousseau, a reprint from NB Publishers and available in retail outlets at R360.

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